The Winking Tree Frog

I swear I didn't know it was a winking frog until I painted it green. Well, yeah, I knew it was winking (because I couldn't find a cockpit design I liked for it, so I offset a standard dome shape), but my major influence at the time was something else entirely!

It started as a "V" shape with a trapezoidal box that I'd mocked-up as the basis for another of my "component ships" components, but never finished. I then chose plastic "megaphones" for the engines, as they were a little more intrinsically interesting than mere cylinders. To attach them, I used layered plasticard (for strength). At this point the major influence on the design, especially as I attached the extra long gun barrels, was Japanese animation. And up until I attached the guns, I didn't know which direction I wanted the ship to go. In fact, I was actually leaning towards making the front be the other way, because it would make fitting an engine exhaust easier, when I saw how well the guns fit where I put them. From that point on, the direction of the ship was decided.

The major design considerations after that were, "What kind of excuse to use for having these big thingies hanging off the wings," and, "Where' the engine(s)?" I could have built a ribbed cylindrical engine protruding above the "V" shape, but I wasn't comfortable with calling the wing-end cones "gun-components", so they became the engines. The "V" ends became auxiliary engines (hyper- vs. normal-space? Sure, why not). It would have been too easy - and boring - to slap domes onto the front ends of the cones, so instead I used "non-strategic materials" (tank wheels - You bet I've got a ton of'em) to build something that in silouette eclipses the same shape as a dome, but is much more interesting.

The choice of colours was dictated by the levels of paneling - I thought it would make a two-colour scheme easier to apply. So, for the two colours, I went with "Southwest Style" green and purple pastels. It was after I applied the green and before I applied the purple that I saw the frog. Honest!